"The definitive classic, the sort of book I consult year after year."
-Seattle Post Intelligencer
"Makes it easy, makes it fun, and makes you want to bake."
The Kansas City Star
Have you ever devoted a Sunday afternoon to baking bread only to turn out loaves that are misshapen and dense? Or struggled over pie crust, ending up with a dry and crumbly dough that was impossible to roll out? We have. And that's why the test cooks and editors at Cook's Illustrated have exhaustively examined every technique, ingredient and piece of equipment that is critical to baking success to come up with 350 recipes that take the guesswork out of baking.
This 528-page baking companion includes recipes ranging from quick breads and yeast breads to pizza, cookies, cakes, pastry, crisps, and cobblers to all manner of pies and tarts. It includes American home classics (including Southern Cornbread, Pecan Sandies, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake) as well as more contemporary favorites (such as Rosemary Focaccia, Orange-Almond Biscotti, and Chocolate Truffle tart) and European baked goods (such as Brioche, Black Forest Cake, and Tart Tatin). Every recipe has been exhaustively researched and tested to bring you the "best" recipe (we'll let you be the judge) along with detailed and precise explanations for everything from why you should use unsalted butter to what is the best oven temperature. We've also tested every kind of baking equipment available, from mixers and food processors to the humblest spatulas and loaf pans.
32 pages of color photographs demonstrate good results as well as bad, and 500 hand-drawn, step-by-step illustrations help you perfect your technique for fail-safe baking. Also included is a 16-page, full-color technique insert that shows you how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls in baking, such as overmixed egg whites, cheesecakes that crack, or bread dough that has overproofed. (We know a lot about mistakes - we've made them all.) You'll also receive handy tutorials on baking basics, including how to stock your pantry and how to store and measure ingredients, cream butter, and roll out pie dough.